Helping our clients achieve their ESG goals with data-driven insights or transforming their ESG reporting processes is a priority topic globally for Version 1. The good news is that many of our existing Oracle EPM Cloud clients have a distinct advantage; they already have the total ESG reporting platform – Oracle EPM Cloud.

Why ESG?

The primary purpose of this article is to share how existing Oracle EPM Cloud clients can accelerate their ESG progress by leveraging the power and potential of the Oracle EPM Cloud platform.

Oracle EPM Cloud and ESG Reporting

It is true there is a proliferation of new venture-backed ESG reporting products in the market, but many lack the advanced capabilities already available in Oracle EPM Cloud. They require a rework of data integrations that are frequently already in place across our EPM Cloud client base and may introduce avoidable compatibility challenges.

Later we explain the specific capabilities of the Oracle EPM Cloud product and how these accelerate the delivery of ESG goals, but first, it is important to understand the challenges sustainability leaders are facing because they are the key stakeholders in this landscape.

Top Environmental, Social and Governance Challenges

A recent Gartner survey of sustainability leaders identifies their top challenges in each ESG subject area. These challenges will drive the capabilities required in your current and future ESG management platform.

Top ESG Challenges Graph

Source: Market Guide for Enterprise Environmental, Social and Governance Software – May 2022 © Gartner.

On top of these challenges, those responsible for ESG reporting and execution face an acute set of additional operational barriers, including:

  • Collecting, validating, aggregating, and narrating ESG data, which is time-consuming, highly manual, inefficient, and error-prone.
  • Multiple standards for E, S, and G metrics, including GRI, SASB, TCFD, and many more, complicate the reporting process and add future uncertainty. Add to these industry-specific initiatives, and the burden is growing on sustainability teams.
  • How to connect ESG goals and models to operational and financial plans? What about reporting ESG metrics for a holding company or a portfolio company?
  • What about complex modelling and calculations? How can you connect ESG goals with financial goals? How do you optimize the delivery of ESG goals without being able to model the complex connection between growth and, for example, carbon intensity?

To overcome these challenges, any ESG reporting and execution platform has to be designed after considering a very broad set of stakeholders, complex data sourcing and validation requirements, a fast-changing regulatory environment and the need to deliver ESG insights across the business for decision-support as ESG plans are executed.

ESG Reporting & Execution Platform Capabilities

As an Oracle partner, you might discount our recommendations for the Oracle EPM Cloud as the ideal ESG reporting and execution platform, but the diagram below from Gartner perfectly illustrates the most critical components for a successful ESG platform; many align directly with the Oracle EPM Cloud solution.

Capabilities and Data Sources for ESG

Source: Market Guide for Enterprise Environmental, Social and Governance Software – May 2022 © Gartner.

The table below maps out the critical ESG requirements that your EPM Cloud platform already solves and why this matters for your ESG reporting and execution plans.

Critical Requirement Capability
Manage data from multiple data sources Yes. The Oracle EPM Cloud can ingest data from multiple financial and non-financial data sources.

The EPM Cloud has a distinct advantage over alternatives because of its tight integration with Oracle ERP, HCM, Supply Chain, Database and other core sources of ESG data.

Comprehensive Data Management & Validation Yes.  The Oracle EPM Cloud enables every part of your organization to provide key data at different levels of granularity and in different formats to standardise it for ESG reporting.  Every aspect of the data journey is recorded, audited and validated.

The deep-rooted capabilities of Oracle EPM Cloud for regulatory reporting are fully leveraged for sustainability reporting.

Support for Multiple Frameworks today and tomorrow. Yes. The Oracle EPM Cloud supports all the main ESG reporting frameworks. Satisfy GRI, SASB, TCFD and other ESG reporting frameworks on one platform.

Use the same system you use today for internal and external reporting requirements for management, narrative and regulatory reporting.

Collaborative Reporting Yes. Include all stakeholders in a collaborative, process-driven approach for defining, authoring, reviewing, and publishing ESG reports and analysis for both internal and external consumption.

As Oracle EPM Cloud users, you are already familiar with Oracle SmartView, which will allow sustainability teams to create and share MS Word, PowerPoint and Excel-based reporting.

Advanced Modelling Yes. The Oracle EPM Cloud includes the most advanced modelling capabilities. Create complex multi-year models and use capabilities like “What-If” analysis, goal-seek and a range of statistical models to improve prediction accuracy.

Advanced modelling enhances the ability to set and deliver ESG goals due to improved decision support and operational decision-making.

Connected Planning Yes. ESG touches every part of your organization and the Oracle EPM Cloud makes it possible to plan for the organization’s sustainable future beyond setting targets in finance. Now you can connect all lines of business so all ESG stakeholders are working towards the same ESG targets.

Connecting financial models, sustainability plans, and targets is critical to achieving corporate ESG objectives.

Complex Calculations Yes. The Oracle EPM Cloud has a powerful calculation engine that can, for example, handle advanced calculations connected to analysing portfolio investments in green funds or complex allocations associated with carbon disclosures and ESG-related risk analysis.

Maximize the ability to understand complex ESG-related decisions by fully harnessing the advanced calculation capabilities of Oracle EPM Cloud.

This isn’t supposed to be a comprehensive list from “A to Z” of the capabilities of the Oracle EPM Cloud. We want to help our clients see that the most critical capabilities they need to set, model, monitor, and achieve their ESG goals can all be managed with their existing Oracle EPM Cloud platform.

The Strategic Advantage of Oracle EPM Cloud

At Version 1, we believe one of the most important advantages the Oracle EPM Cloud platform delivers to finance and sustainability leaders as they plan and execute ESG strategies is advanced decision support.

Our clients require decision support to identify opportunities for improved ESG performance and the ability to rapidly analyze options to select the next best actions at any given time.

The Oracle EPM Cloud makes it easier to answer these compelling questions:

  • What happened?
    Reporting what happened is the basic building block of an ESG program. Automating reporting capabilities, including support for multiple ESG reporting standards (such as GRI, SASB, TCFD and so on) is the logical place to start.
  • Why did it happen?
    Oracle EPM Cloud enables decision-makers and stakeholders to drill into the drivers of results and to evaluate different options and opportunities to make operational decisions that advance ESG goals.
  • What will happen?
    Create long-term plans that allow you to model multi-year complex scenarios, apply “What-If” modelling and “Goal-Seek” capabilities, and use embedded Machine Learning to enhance the reliability of predicted outcomes. 

Having the power of the Oracle EPM Cloud as part of your ESG systems strategy will deliver these tangible benefits, but perhaps most importantly, it will lower the costs of your ESG reporting and improve the probability of delivering your sustainability goals.

Lower ESG Reporting Costs

Clearly, one of the biggest benefits of leveraging the Oracle EPM Cloud is the opportunity to add new ESG applications without increasing your costs.  As an EPM Cloud user, you’ve already invested in the Oracle EPM platform and therefore have the in-house skills, so why increase your costs by adding another new reporting tool?

At Version 1, we believe that the role of finance in ESG reporting is critical, so expanding the use of Oracle EPM Cloud beyond finance is a natural next step and a financially sound decision.

How can we help?

Version 1 has several ESG Accelerators to reduce the cost and complexity of ESG projects and accelerate the delivery of results.

To assist our clients with one of the most complex elements of an ESG project, data collection, management and integration, we have optimized the Cloudbridge data orchestration platform to reduce the cost and complexity of ESG projects.

We also have pre-built many components of an ESG solution so that our clients can benefit from building upon a framework rather than starting from scratch.

If you haven’t already considered your existing Oracle EPM Cloud platform as your system for ESG target setting, reporting and execution, we hope that you have found this blog useful for your ESG systems-strategy shaping.

We are here to help you. Contact us now to see ESG reporting in Oracle EPM Cloud in action today.